One fun way to see what anime or game series are currently popular with kids and otaku in Japan is to visit an arcade and take a look at the prizes up for grabs in the crane machines, or UFO catchers, as they’re often called in Japanese.
Unlike North America, arcade culture is still going strong in Japan and UFO catchers are one of the main attractions. Always found on the first floor of arcades, these machines are stocked with the latest limited-edition figurines and plushies of popular characters, many of which can only be acquired as UFO catcher prizes (or on Amazon at obscene prices).
Japanese toy company Banpresto has announced their newest lineup of CRANEKING arcade-exclusive prizes, available this October. Check what toys are hot on the Japanese arcade scene below!
■ I LOVE EVEE Plushie series
■Capibara-san Super Delux Christmas Plushie 2012
■Kamen Riders Wizard DX Deformed Figures
■MY Pokemon Collection Plushies
■Smile Pirikura! Power Up Tiara Plushie
■One Piece Plushie Thriller Pack
■I LOVE EIEVUI High Quality Eevee Plushie
■Gintama Deluxe Figure
■Recommembers One Piece Plushie
■Chibi-kyun Gintama vol. 2
■Chibi-kyun Nisemonogatari vol. 2
■One Piece Scultures vol.3
■Gundam Seires World Collection Figure vol. 1
■JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure DXF Passione vol. 3
■Kamen Riders Head Pack vol. 3
■ K-on! Movie DXF Figure 2
■Puella Magi Madoka Magica SQ Figure
■Pokemon Move Museum vol. 003
■TIGER ＆ BUNNY World Collection Figure vol.4
■TIGER ＆ BUNNY MASTER STARS PIECE THE Kaburagi T. Kotetsu
■One Piece DXF ～THE GRANDLINE MEN～ vol.14
■One Piece World Collection Figure vol.28
■Chibi-kyun Character K-on!
■Macross Frontier Movie 2: Sayonara no Tsubasa DXF Figure NURSE ver.
■Uta no Prince-sama Serious Love 1000% Plushie Vol. 1
■Uta no Prince-sama Serious Love 1000% Plushie Vol. 2
■Natsume’s Book of Friends Big Nyanko-sensei Plushie No. 3
It looks like Pokemon, One Piece and K-On! are as overwhelmingly popular as ever. Tiger & Bunny also made a good showing, no doubt thanks to the success of the 2011 anime and sure-to-be-successful movie scheduled to release September 22.
I’m personally considering a trip to the local arcade to get my hands on one (or all) of those I Love Eevee plushies. According to the campaign website, those who fill out a survey at participating arcades are eligible to win one of twenty giant Eevee plushies through December 7. Though I can never decide on which stone to use…